EVERYBODY understands that after a scathing audit of West Virginia's public schools, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin would focus on education in the current legislative session.
It's understandable that with some of the state's racinos in trouble because of competition from other states, the Legislature would focus on the economic health of its business partners.
But Republicans in the House of Delegates correctly point out that the focus of the Democratic majority has overshadowed equally pressing issues.
The majority party has focused on issues such as
lowering the prison population, seat belts, free meals for children who are able to pay, and more.
But not on economic growth.
House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, points out that West Virginia lost 18,900 manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2007. More than 59,000 people remain unemployed.
Despite gradual reductions in some business taxes, the state remains at a disadvantage because of its property tax on business equipment. The majority has refused to change a legal posture that makes investors see West Virginia as hostile territory.